Monday, December 5, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my daughter and I went with my parents to shop at a little Mennonite store located about an hour away from where we live.  We always like to go there to stock up on fabric, craft supplies, spices, and staples for our pantry.

While we were there, my daughter picked up a butternut squash for me.  She knew I would make soup with it, and today was the perfect day to turn that squash into a steaming bowl of goodness.  I am writing this recipe as vegan, but you could just as easily use chicken stock and regular milk if you desire.  I sprinkled a little smoked paprika on top for color and flavor; you could leave it plain, or top with toasted pepitas, which I would have done had I had any in the house.

1 small butternut squash, about 7 oz
1 can vegetable stock, 2 cups
1/2 medium onion, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup coconut milk

Peel, seed, and cube squash.  Place it in medium saucepan with onion, garlic, and stock.

Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until squash is very tender, about 30 minutes. 

Using a stick blender, blend squash until very smooth.  Add 1 cup coconut milk and stir until creamy. 

Top with a dash of smoked paprika or a tablespoon of pepitas.

Serves 2 for appetizer, or 1 for meal

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Caramel Apple Crisp

This is a recipe that I just made up.  I had some apples that were needing to be used.  We were not eating them fresh, so I thought I would put them into a crisp to see if I could tempt my family to eat them.

As I opened the fridge to get a drink of water, I spied the partial jar of caramel ice cream topping we had left from a recent ice cream party.  I grabbed it on a whim and decided to add it to my crisp.  I took it to church this morning, and many people gave rave reviews to this new crisp.

8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 sticks butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss sliced apples with lemon juice, spread out into a 1 quart casserole dish.

Drizzle caramel ice cream topping over apples evenly.

 In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice, mix well.

Pour melted butter over oat mixture and mix well, until all ingredients are wet.  Sprinkle oat mixture over apples evenly.

Bake, uncovered, about an hour, until top is evenly browned, and apples are tender.  You can serve hot with ice cream on top, or at room temperature with a dollop of Cool Whip.

Serves 12